DALLAS — Administrators and contractors are busy setting the stage for the state at Thomas Jefferson High School. They’re anxious for Monday’s big welcome, as students return to a brand new school building.
“We've worked really hard on the selections of some of the finishes and even the furniture, to make it not only feel like a high school. But to make it feel more collegiate,” said Principal Benjamin Jones, as he lead a mini-tour of the brand new school building.
Every inch of the new Thomas Jefferson High School was designed with community in mind.
An EF-3 tornado rocked the area back in 2019. It destroyed the old school and many nearby homes. The school’s new gym and athletics wing now double as a storm shelter.
“Thomas Jefferson High School, since 1957, has never had a space where the entire student body could be in there at once,” Jones explained.
Dozens of new classrooms have new, updated, contemporary furniture and state-of-the-art technology.
The brand-new library serves as one of the campus’ focal points.
“Our school community changed so much. We were so grateful to have a place to go together. But we're so grateful to come back. It's so beautiful here,” said teacher Cathleen Cadigan.
There are bright colors throughout the building. The campus is packed with contemporary design.
There’s a new performance hall that has all of the bells and whistles to rival any professional theater in town.
“The first thing that was going through my mind was… it's a new beginning,” said Noe Murillo, Senior Class President.
Just steps away from the high school campus is the new Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy. The Pre-K through eighth-grade campus has several outdoor classrooms. Inside, teachers are excited about using every corner of the new building.
“Monday morning, I am opening the doors to families, and students, and a community that has deserved this building long before a tornado hit it. They have deserved this facility for decades,” Jones added.
Contractors will focus on completing their final sweep of the building, over the weekend, as they prepare for students and staff to walk through those doors on Monday, Jan. 9.